March 6, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, a pan-African banking group and China Development Bank (CDB), the world’s largest development finance institution, on February 27, announced the signing of a letter of intent for $100 million loan to finance the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
The $100 million loan will enhance UBA’s capacity to provide access to finance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the 19 African countries where UBA currently operates.
According to the UBA Plc Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Office Kennedy Uzoka, they are excited to partner with China Development Bank (CDB), the Development Financial Institution of the Chinese Government, and on the historic transaction, as they strongly believe that the facility will serve as a catalyst to the sustainable development of commerce and industry in Africa through provision of critical financial interventions to SMEs across our presence countries.
He noted that fund would be timely, as it should complement the recovery of economic activities and it will also further encourage African entrepreneurship particularly as the funds will be applied to SMEs, which are important for inclusive growth on the continent.
Also speaking during the signing ceremony, Chairman of UBA Plc, Tony Elumelu said the fund will boost small and medium scale enterprises across Africa, noting that CDB’s interest in supporting SMEs aligns with UBA’s vision in growing business across Africa.
“In UBA, CDB would have an enduring partner in reaching out to Africans as UBA provides banking services to over 14 million people across 20 African countries, and like CDB, UBA funds critical infrastructural projects on the continent,” he said.
He expressed that he would like to see an even stronger relationship grow with CDB and UBA as well as with China and Nigeria.
Also commenting, the President of CDB, Mr. Zheng Zhijie, said the loan intent is the beginning of cooperation between UBA and CDB that would translate into an enduring business relationship between China and Africa and Nigeria in particular.
“UBA is a leading and dependable bank not only in Nigeria but Africa, and this partnership will help our Bank to accelerate its business objectives in Africa, more importantly as we deepen our investment in energy, road and rail constructions, infrastructure in Africa,” he said.
UBA, Africa’s global bank, is one of the largest commercial banks in Nigeria incorporated which operates in 19 African countries whilst providing a wide range of products and services. The bank has been the leading financial institution to support various infrastructure projects, particularly power, telecom, transport and also social infrastructure such as hospital and education facilities to various countries in Africa.
CDB was funded in 1994, and it is the world’s largest development finance institution and is the largest Chinese bank for foreign investment and financing cooperation and they provides medium-to-long-term financing facilities that serve China’s major long-term economic and social development strategies.